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DMZ and GroundBreak Ventures join forces to tackle Canada’s housing crisis, by scaling innovative solutions for faster community and market housing delivery

The duo will provide Canadian innovators with custom scaling support, combining DMZ’s award-winning programming with GroundBreak Ventures’ expertise in property and home innovation technology

TORONTO, June 14, 2024 – At the forefront of addressing Canada’s urgent housing crisis, world-leading tech incubator DMZ, in partnership with GroundBreak Ventures, will support eight innovators with access to expert-led mentorship, business coaching, peer-to-peer support and networking opportunities to scale their solutions and transform the way Canada delivers housing.

Today, the national housing crisis presents one of Canada’s most significant social and economic challenges that extends beyond just major cities. By harnessing the expertise and resources of the innovation economy, new approaches to housing development can be rapidly scaled and implemented across the country.

DMZ, in partnership with GroundBreak Ventures, will support eight of the 18 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Housing Supply Challenge (HSC) Round 5, Level-Up, semi-finalists. The National Housing Strategy’s HSC helps remove or reduce barriers that hinder Canada’s housing supply.

The eight semi-finalists, including Indigenous and French-operated businesses supported by DMZ and GroundBreak Ventures include:

  • Association des groupes de ressources techniques du Québec (AGRTQ): An expert hub designed to assist community housing providers in optimizing their funding strategies using innovative financing approaches and industry expertise.
  • Innovation Building Group: An open-access library featuring high-performance, low-cost multi-unit residential designs ready for blueprint use across Canada.
  • One Bowl: An Indigenous-owned and led social enterprise focused on building homes and healthy, sustainable communities with First Nations by using innovations in timber construction and a social enterprise framework.
  • Promise Robotics: A ready-to-deploy homebuilding robotic factory as a service capable of autonomous and rapid production of timber-based low-rise buildings.
  • Tapestry Community Capital: A platform and project consulting group that helps community housing providers in raising low-cost capital through community bonds.
  • Student Housing Implementation Work Unit (UTILE): Facilitates the large-scale adoption of modular construction, focusing on student housing as a consistent, high-volume end product. 
  • Ratio.City, a division of Esri Canada: A web-based platform designed to give real estate developers, urban planners, and all developers access to shared data on development potential, precedence, process and compliance to speed up the application and approval process for new construction.
  • Vancity Community Foundation: A Vancity Affordable Housing Accelerator Program which provides access to capital to community housing projects for early-stage planning and pre-development costs. 

More information on the semi-finalists participating can be found here

“The innovative spirit of Canadian innovation is essential not only in addressing our housing challenges but also in leading the way on broader societal issues such as economic growth and community development,” said Etienne Pinel, Senior Specialist at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “The role of DMZ and GroundBreak Ventures in this competition underscores our commitment to bringing together industry expertise to nurture these innovations and scale them in the market for maximum impact.”

“Together, we’re accelerating the deployment of cutting-edge housing technologies and championing a sustainable and inclusive approach to urban development”, explained Sherif El Tawil, Senior Director of Programs and Global Operations at DMZ. “The innovation economy is pivotal in addressing Canada’s housing crisis, driving innovative solutions that streamline building processes and significantly reduce costs. The housing crisis in Canada needs to be a collaborative approach, and we’re committed to making safe, sustainable housing accessible to all Canadians.

While today marks the official announcement of DMZ and GroundBreak Ventures’ partnership as part of HSC Round 5, Level-Up, the two organizations have been working together since 2022. The two organizations initially teamed up to help Canadian startups transform the global real estate landscape by launching the
PropTech Incubator stream within DMZ’s flagship Incubator program. 

“Issues surrounding housing affordability and sustainability are top-of-mind for virtually all Canadians,” said
Scott Kaplanis, Managing Partner at GroundBreak Ventures. “It is our unwavering belief that a commitment to investing in – and embracing – homegrown technology and innovation is crucial to unlocking the productive capacity of our incredible real estate industry.” 

Other Scaling Hubs supporting semi-finalists in the program include Foresight Canada, The Decision Lab, Highline Beta, and the University of Toronto’s School of Cities. Each contributes uniquely to the overarching goal of transforming the housing landscape. 

Startups with tech-enabled products who are solving compelling problems in real estate and housing and are interested in learning more about DMZ’s PropTech stream can visit

The HSC is one initiative under Canada’s National Housing Strategy, a 10-year $82-plus billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home. Progress on programs and initiatives are updated quarterly at The Housing Funding Initiatives Map shows affordable housing projects that have been developed.


Media Contact
Luvy Hardy, DMZ

About DMZ

A global startup ecosystem, DMZ at Toronto Metropolitan University equips the next generation of tech entrepreneurs with the tools needed to build, launch and scale highly impactful startups. By providing connections to customers, coaching, capital and a community, DMZ’s world-leading Incubator programs help innovators reach the next milestone in their entrepreneurial journey – whatever that might be. Through its award-winning programming, DMZ has helped more than 830 startups raise $2.69 billion in capital and create 5,100+ jobs. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with globally-accessible programming, DMZ has a widely-recognized international presence with offices in Vietnam, India and the U.S., and partnerships across North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Learn more at

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